Molly has accused UK institutions of resorting to ‘justice by text’ following a shambolic Canadian parliamentary hearing in Ottawa at which the co-founders of controversial firm AggregatesIQ were quizzed about their role in the Leave campaign. At one point in the proceedings there were squabbles about who was telling the truth, following a text Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith received during the hearing from Damian Collins, the chair of the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCSM) Committee. The text claimed that AggregatesIQ had “refused to answer” questions put to them by the UK Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham. The Information Commissioner is investigating whether the Leave campaign breached spending limits and looking into the use of data analytics for political purposes. The two senior AggregateIQ executives being questioned denied not cooperating with the UK authorities.
Dr Scott Cato responded:
“Is our democracy in such a dire state that we have resorted to ‘justice by text? When influential MPs like Damien Collins and our Information Commissioner have to text Canadian MPs to try and get answers from AggregateIQ bosses, you know we are in trouble.
“We need to be asking why our ICO was not represented in person, and does this indicate that they don’t have the resources to fully investigate the serious allegations against the Leave campaign and the companies associated with them? The alleged crimes have such serious repercussions for our democracy that anything other than a fully resourced investigative body with teeth to prosecute is wholly inadequate.”